Full-Time IndieDev Journey (Original Post Not Updated)

WitlessWonderer

  • Posts: 35
Hey man, I don't post much, kind of a lurker, but I wanted to let you know something positive that you were indirectly involved in.

My wife has been pursuing her masters in counseling for the past year, but decided that it wasn't for her.  So she was planning on trying to get a job in human resources (read: secretary).  I was telling her about your posts, about how cool I thought it was that you had the courage to take the dive and how honest you are about your progress, up to posting your financial earnings.  I told her about how you used to be a professor and that this was a radical change in career for you.

Long story short, due to this and a couple of other factors, she decided to steer her career in a totally new direction and is going to a software development coding bootcamp starting in a couple weeks.  I feel like she has gained a lot more confidence in herself, but is also being realistic that it will be hard.  We're both really excited about this new direction and to see what the future holds.

I just wanted to let you know that me telling her your story had a part to play in that.  Thanks for being a great member of the Stencyl community and always helping other people when you can.

ceosol

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Thank you very much WW. That is the whole reason why I am telling this story. I want people to know that they can have a way out of a bad job situation. You wife seems to have a good attitude about it. Just keep in mind that it is a lot harder than you think in the beginning. Check out KramerGames' post about his game development. He recently said that he was not as good as he thought he was. I had that same realization a few months in. Right when you get to that point, you gain a lot more clarity and can focus more on what you need to do to get better.

WitlessWonderer

  • Posts: 35
Oh yeah, I've been following everything.  She's not really looking to get into video game development as much as web development, but I know that some of the same principles apply.  I also don't think she's trying the freelancer route, so that will be a little easier as far as stable income is concerned.  I was a lot more active in game development in college, a time during which I was definitely humbled what I thought I would be able to do.
She's coming into it with the mentality that she's not naturally good at this kind of thing but that she knows how to work hard and persevere.  And in the time that I've known her, I definitely have found that to be true.
Anyway, this thread isn't about me.  I just wanted to let you know that you were having the intended effect.

ceosol

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I've been trying to post to the blog everyday. I seem to be falling into three categories - current work, game ideas, and game dev thoughts. Thanks very much to those who have commented. For some reason seeing a comment on there is even better than a forum reply :D

Today's blog:
http://ceosolinfo.com/ceosolblog/?p=35

And here is my new favorite gif (also in the blog post).

ceosol

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I just wrote a blog post about the stresses of being an indie game developer.

http://ceosolinfo.com/ceosolblog/?p=64

Please take it as encouragement and nothing more. Hopefully it will help some other indie developer in their journey :)

Bhoopalan

  • Posts: 1019
Nice blog post, ceosol.
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)
https://twitter.com/imbhoopalan

1MrPaul1

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Game dev became very stressful, all weak will die  soon, other became stronger  and will win

Bhoopalan

  • Posts: 1019
That's right! I hate to feel weak.

We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)
https://twitter.com/imbhoopalan

colburt187

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  • Posts: 2416
Game dev became very stressful, all weak will die  soon, other became stronger  and will win

Thats a bit dramatic, It is a difficult business but there are still plenty of opportunities out there.

ceosol

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I recently had a conversation with another indie about this very topic. It is really difficult to make money and that can be the biggest stress factor for new developer. Here is some advice for anybody who is or wants to be an indie developer:

I know you want to keep your integrity and selling your games may feel dirty to you, but you have to do whatever you can to survive. Personally, I know that I am not at the level of being able to publish my own games. I am painfully aware of that fact because I have only made ~$180 usd from my own projects. I guess really it is negative revenue because I have now paid out $300 to contractors working on my projects... making my personal project net revenue a whopping negative $120.

The point is, I suck at making my own games. I seem to be pretty good with making games for other people. Each of you reading this have your own talents, such as coming up with ideas, artwork, programming, mathematics/algorithms, music/sfx, or level design. But how many of you have the whole package in terms of making games? I include publishing and marketing as part of the whole package. When you are an indie developer, you wear so many more hats than just development. If you sit there and program - thinking that you will hit it big - you will most likely fail.

My best advice is, if you have a chance to get any money, any money whatsoever, do it. Even if you accept half of what you think a game is worth, you need to do whatever you can to survive. If you can generate enough revenue for 1 month of bills/expenses, that is one more month that allows you to try again. Income is income.

You can read the rest of the blog post here: http://ceosolinfo.com/ceosolblog/?p=68.

ceosol

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So, funny story... The $900 I was "guaranteed", I didn't get any of it. Those clients look like they are trying to skip out on the bill. I feel like I am spreading myself too thin. I cannot stay on top of these a-hole clients who can't be bothered to pay their debts (edit: just fyi these are completed jobs that have not been paid, not in progress). When I hire people, I am usually forcing my money on them because I never want to feel like I owe anybody anything. What kind of person feels perfectly fine hiring someone and then never paying them?

Anyway, July still turned out ok-ish.
$200 milestone for an avoidance game
$510 payment for silly arcade game
$250 launch bonus for a different arcade game
$40 for helping out on a couple game prototypes

($200) Payment for outsourced artwork on the kickstarter game
($11) Payment for outsourced programming

Total July: $789
Total 2016: $5989

I'm falling further and further behind on my 2017 numbers. I currently have $3000+ in contracts where I am pretty sure that I will get paid. There is ~$900 in finished contracts where I think I have a 50/50 shot of the clients actually having a soul and paying me. There there are $700 of unpaid invoices that I think have a very slim chance of being paid. And I won't even list the amount of money that I am almost positive will never get paid :P

If anybody is curious about my current list:
Update to arcade game
Arcade game sequel
Infinite Runner
Possibly some more work on the silly arcade game - possibly a second game from the same client
Space Race
Fighting game with my former tutoring student (that contract ended a couple of weeks ago)
Building/Tycoon style game
Kickstarter Project
Side business venture (I need to pick up the pace on this one)
Avoidance game
Drunk Stumble if I ever get time to make my own version of it

Good times

« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 08:29:26 am by ceosol »

CmdrWhitey13

  • Posts: 504
Total July: $789
Total 2017: $5989

I'm falling further and further behind on my 2017 numbers.

Hey Chuck. Good to hear you pushing strong on this endeavour.
I believe the quote should be 2016, unless you from the future. :)
Keep up the good work. You will bounce back strong.

All the best.

1MrPaul1

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Total 2017: $5989

you need a rest probably.... :)
summer is good time to rest, anyway everybody resting now and work goes slow

Bhoopalan

  • Posts: 1019
The way he approaches Indie game survival... he might be from future as well ;)
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)
https://twitter.com/imbhoopalan

thechaosengine

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  • Posts: 329
I currently have $3000+ in contracts where I am pretty sure that I will get paid. There is ~$900 in finished contracts where I think I have a 50/50 shot of the clients actually having a soul and paying me. There there are $700 of unpaid invoices that I think have a very slim chance of being paid. And I won't even list the amount of money that I am almost positive will never get paid :P

This sounds extremely wrong. When you talk about contracts, have you actually signed agreements with those clients? I mean no offense, but the entire purpose of a contract is to ensure both parties uphold their end of the deal (ie. you deliver a game and they deliver the money). It has nothing to do with "having a soul", this is business. They have to pay you because of your work, not pay you because they're nice people.

I have never signed a contract and haven't gotten paid. The fact that you appear to accept that you won't be getting paid, as if it's standard or common practice, makes me think you need to look into how contracts work.